‘Golden Bridge not a threat to ‘perahu tambang’ operators’

Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah

KUCHING: The ‘perahu tambang’ or river taxi business will not be affected by the soon to be completed Golden Bridge linking the State Legislature Assembly building to Kuching Waterfront.

As such, river taxi operators should not be worried about the Golden Bridge as it serves  a different purpose, assured Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah.

“People living in the villages at Petra Jaya will definitely still want to use the river taxi or ‘perahu tambang’ as it is a faster way to get to Kuching City and vice versa. The operator can still continue giving such services to the public,” he said when contacted by The Borneo Post yesterday.

“I am sure these river taxi operators and the villagers know this and what the best mode of transport to travel from one point to another is. Even after the completion of Satok Bridge and later the Tun Sallehuddin Bridge, their services were not affected. So I am sure the same goes for the Golden Bridge,” he added.

He said the ‘perahu tambang’ would always be the legacy of the people of Kuching, the Sarawak River and the boat operators.

“We should be proud of our river taxi as it also reflects the life and the heritage of the Malay community and people residing along the river.”

On the Golden Bridge, he said it is another convenient link from Petra Jaya to Kuching City and vice versa, adding the link would attract more people and tourists to the Kuching Waterfront for leisure and to see the city from a different view and even take a leisure boat ride.

“This is where these people or tourists can always take the river taxi to cruise along the Sarawak River and this is where the river taxi operators can make more income,” he added.

He believed tourists would also like to experience a ride on the ‘perahu tambang’ for sightseeing just like riding the gondola in Venice, Austria, which would give the operators more income and create economic spin-off in the area.

“We cannot see the future, but the Golden Bridge can make life better for the taxi operators so we hope that they will become proactive in helping the government in the tourism sector,” he said.

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